Prince Hamzah is a popular figure in Jordan and is considered religious and modest, in contact with the people.
The fate of the former Crown Prince of Jordan, Hamzah bin Al Hussein, is unclear. Reports suggest he is currently under house arrest.
A Jordanian military official, however, said Prince Hamzah, 41, was only ordered to halt activities “aimed at undermining the security and stability of Jordan”.
Jordan’s ruling family traces its lineage back to the Prophet of Islam Muhammad. Prince Hamzah was born on March 29, 1980 in Amman, the capital. He is the half-brother of King Abdullah II.
When their father, King Al Hussein bin Talal, died of cancer in 1999, Abdullah, 59, was crowned and Hamza was made Crown Prince of Jordan.
The designation was out of respect for King Hussein, who reigned for nearly 50 years and was known to have favored Hamza the most among his 11 children from four marriages.
However, King Abdullah stripped him of that title five years later and gave it to his own eldest son Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, 26.
King Abdullah declared that he had decided to “free” Prince Hamzah “from the constraints of the function of crown prince in order to give you the freedom to work and to undertake any mission or responsibility which I entrust to you”.
But the decision was seen as an initiative by King Abdullah to consolidate his power.
No open rivalry
Speaking in English in a video transmitted by his lawyer to the BBC, Prince Hamzah said he was not part of any conspiracy and denounced the ruling system as corrupt.
“[Jordanians’] well-being has been put on the back burner by a ruling system that has decided that its personal interests, financial interests, corruption are more important than the lives, dignity and future of the 10 million people who live here “, did he declare.
Abdullah and Hamzah have not displayed any open rivalries over the years. In the videotaped statement, a portrait of King Hussein could be seen on the wall behind the prince, who currently does not hold any official post.
Hamzah is a popular figure in Jordan. He is considered religious and modest, in touch with ordinary people and similar to his beloved father, the late King Hussein. He has criticized the government in the past, accusing officials of “mismanagement” after passing an income tax law in 2018.
Prince Hamzah is not seen as a great threat to the Jordanian monarchy and has been marginalized for years, but the ruling against him represents the first such incident involving a close member of the royal family since King Abdullah took office. mounted on the throne.
Authorities are increasingly concerned about his efforts to forge links with disgruntled figures within powerful Jordanian tribes.
The people, known as Herak, have in recent weeks called for protests against corruption in a country hit hard by the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, pushing unemployment to record levels and deepening poverty . The authorities had cracked down on several protests, detaining dozens.
The tribes that dominate the security forces form the basis of support for the kingdom’s Hashemite monarchy.
Prince Hamzah is often pictured meeting tribal figures and is known to be popular, particularly among tribal Jordanians and the West Bank, for his eerie resemblance to his father, who was loved by many in the kingdom.
His recent meetings with tribal leaders across Jordan and his 2018 Twitter posts that included the catchy words, “Oh my country,” caused a stir in the kingdom. His visits to tribal elders at their invitation were widely regarded as his way of showing his relevance and closeness to people.